Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Judge Judy and Executioner

It's a testament to their courage that the finalists in Sunday's Untapped Newcomers songwriting contest did as well as they did, with those judgmental mugs staring them down.  The charming mugs belong to my fellow judges who, like me were recruited by the Calgary Folk Festival to come out to the Ship & Anchor on Sunday to listen and to pronounce.  For the record, they are actually very nice people.

I know from personal experience that the live finals of the songwriting contest are a big draw.  After all, who wouldn't want to spend a Sunday afternoon, sipping a couple and listening to all that talent?  When the OFKAR tried to treat me to a Ship and Anchor brunch during one of the finals on Mothers' Day last year, it was standing room only when we arrived.  Since the need for eggs was stronger than the lust for music that day, and since we are both crap at eating eggs while standing, we headed down the street instead.  So on Sunday I was doubly glad to not only have the privilege of inflicting my opinion upon others, but to have a reserved booth with great sightlines from which to do so.
It was such a fun afternoon. Rock god and man-about-town Mike Watson kept things hopping between performances with banter, performances of his own, and periodic declarations of adoration for one of my fellow judges.  There's a prize in it for the first reader who correctly picks which judge. 

Meanwhile, his paramour and the voice of the Calgary Folk Festival, Johanna Schwartz,was kept busy with judge wrangling (we all had pretty demanding riders) and prize awarding. There were some rather sweet prizes too - cash, recording and performance opportunities, folk festival and boot camp tickets, and Ship & Anchor bar tabs.

In all, sixteen musicians performed that day, some of whom made us chuckle, some of whom wooed us, and many of whom had us boppin our heads.  And let me state, unequivocally, that the fact that two of the judges, including yours truly, are coworkers at National Music Centre with the second place winner had absolutely no bearing on the decisions.  As a matter of fact, I am a bit disappointed that I did not receive one bribe, although a tequila shooter was hinted at by RapX.  There is also no correlation between this and their winning Best Performance.  Just a lot of coincidences and many small circles.

Congratulations to the winners:
First place: Kevin Maimann - Pretty Things
Second place: Everett Rottingham - New Device 
Third place: Paige Leigh Tyson - Poplar Roots
Best Performance: RapX - Chuck Norris

Well done, Calgary Folk Festival and Ship & Anchor.  Call me any time you need some decisions made!


Allison said...

Sounds like a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Even more thrilling when you get to make decisions on the winners!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It was a blast, Al. I felt like a king-maker.

Mister Anchovy said...

Zombie, you got the power. writing this comment at the Winnipeg airport, awaiting a flight back to TO. Here overnight for a work event.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I hope you said hi to my Winnipeg, Mr Anchovy. Safe trip home to your troupe.